Coeur Files Lawsuit Over Mine Problems
Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. sued Cyprus Amax Minerals of Denver on Tuesday for allegedly failing to disclose problems at the Golden Cross Mine in New Zealand.
Coeur bought the mine from Cyprus in 1993 for $53 million. The suit filed Tuesday in Coeur d’Alene asks for that money back along with damages to be proven at trial. Coeur reserves the right to ask the court for punitive damages against Cyprus.
The suit contends that Cyprus, and its affiliates in New Zealand, knew about geologic instability under the mine site. When the two companies negotiated a deal for the mine, Cyprus and its affiliates didn’t tell Coeur about landslides and earth movements under the tailings pond.
If Coeur had known about that information, the deal wouldn’t have happened, the suit contends.
Fixing the problem will cost millions of dollars. Coeur geologists do not yet know just how much, but the company last week took a $53 million write-down for its second-quarter earnings. The write-down represents 9 percent of the company’s total assets.